Working Replica of Noah's Ark
Working Replica of Noah's Ark Opens SCHAGEN, Netherlands -
The massive central door in the side of Noah's Ark
was thrown open Saturday
- you could say it was the first time in 4,500 years - drawing a crowd
Of curious pilgrims and townsfolk to behold the wonder.
Of course, it's only a replica of the biblical Ark, built by Dutch CreationistJohan Huibers as a testament to his faith in the literal truth of the Bible.
Reckoning by the old biblical measurements, Johan's fully functional ark
Is 150 cubits long, 30 cubits high and 20 cubits wide. That's two-thirds the length of a football field and as high as a three-story house. Life-size models of giraffes, elephants, lions, crocodiles, zebras,
bison and other animals greet visitors as they arrive in the main hold.
"The design is by my wife, Bianca," Huibers said. "She didn't really
want me to do this at all, but she said if you're going to anyway,
it should look like this."
A contractor by trade, Huibers built the ark of cedar and pine ---
Biblical Scholars debate exactly what the wood used by Noah would have been.
Huibers did the work mostly with his own hands, using modern tools
and occasional help from his son Roy. Construction began in May 2005.
On the uncovered top deck - not quite ready in time for the opening
- will come a petting zoo, with baby lambs and chickens, and goats
and one camel.
Visitors on the first day were stunned.
"It's past comprehension," said Mary Louise Starosciak, who happened
to be bicycling by with her husband while on vacation when they saw
the ark looming over the local landscape.
"I knew the story of Noah, but I had no idea the boat would have been
In fact, Noah's Ark as described in the Bible was five times larger
than Johan's Ark.
But that still leaves enough space near the keel for a 50-seat film
Theater, where kids can watch the segment of the
Disney film "Fantasia" that tells the story of Noah.
Another exhibit shows water cascading down on a model of the Ark.
Exhibits on the third level show ancient tools and old-fashioned
Barrels, exotic stuffed animals, and a wax model of an
exhausted Noah reclining on a bed in the forecastle.
Genesis says Noah kept seven pairs of most domesticated animals and
one breeding pair of all other creatures, plus his wife, three sons and
three daughters-in-law together on the boat for almost a year
while the world was deluged.
Perhaps it was only logical that the replica project would be the
brainchild of a Dutchman: fear of floods are ingrained in the country's collective
consciousness by its water-drenched history.
Lois Poppema, visiting from California, said she thought the Netherlands
was exactly the right place for an ark. "Just a few weeks ago we saw Al Gore on television .. Saying that all Holland will be flooded" due to rising sea levels, she said.
"I don't think the man who made this ever expected that global warning
will become (such an important) issue - and suddenly having the ark
would be meaningful in the middle of Holland."
Under sunny clear skies Saturday, Huibers said he wasn't worried about
another biblical flood, since according to Genesis, the rainbow is the
Sign of God's promise never to flood the world again. But he does worry that recent events such as the flooding of New Orleans
could be seen as a portent of the end of time.
Huibers said he hopes the project will renew interest in Christianity in
The Netherlands, where churchgoing has fallen dramatically in the past
50 years. He also plans to visit major cities in Belgium and Germany.
who was now
and I see
the end of
and save two
along with a
Ark before I
rain for 40
days and 40
down and saw
in his yard
- but no
He roared, 'I'm
is the Ark?'
I needed a
need for a
the Ark in
my yard and
We had to go
to clear the
move to the
sea. I told
coming to us,
the wood was
in order to
I tried to
wood to save
the owls -
but no go!
that I was
and it was
put so many
animals in a
ruled that I
to resolve a
on how many
to hire for
most of the
unions say I
can't use my
have to hire
Lord, but it
at least 10
years for me
sun began to
shine, and a
looked up in
not going to
beat me to
for giving us something to believe it, that we can see, feel and touch.
should be so proud of your accomplishment! What a beautiful story, Noah and
lesson is still worth heeding today,listen when the Lord speaks and don't
it now!Sometimes we don't understand the reason and in these times it's
important to know that the Master has the plan. (Linda B. USA)